News

The Natur- & Geopark Mëllerdall (NGPM for short) is delighted: at its 214th session, held in Paris from 30 March to 13 April, the Executive Board of UNESCO accepted the NPGM into the world network of UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The Executive Board thus followed the unanimous recommendation of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council, based on a detailed review of the NGPM’s candidature and the reports of the UNESCO experts in the field, which was made at a global online meeting from 8 to 11 December 2021. Out of 18 applications submitted to UNESCO in 2019 and 2020, eight regions were confirmed as new UNESCO Global Geoparks. This means that the international network of UNESCO Global Geoparks now consists of 177 members in 46 countries.

The NGPM would like to thank its member municipalities, the Luxembourg Commission for cooperation with UNESCO and all the ministries, administrations, partners and private individuals who contributed to the successful candidature.

Where do we go from here? – International recognition and a commitment to development

By obtaining the label, knowledge about the impressive region of the NGPM with its geologically interesting places and its special natural and cultural heritage will reach many more people than before. The label also means international recognition.

The UNESCO Global Geoparks are linked together in an international network. Regular network meetings offer the opportunity for intensive exchange and networking, brainstorming and learning from each other. Being a UNESCO Global Geopark means at the same time to be continuously committed to the development of the region, because UNESCO Global Geoparks are reassessed every four years.

The ongoing projects of the Natur- & Geopark Mëllerdall will continue to be driven forward. In the coming weeks and months, however, the focus will also be strongly on the recommendations of UNESCO. The NGPM team will examine and implement the suggestions on what concrete improvements could be made within the region over the next four years. The recommendations deal, for example, with the accessibility and experienceability of the geosites for residents and tourists. In addition, in cooperation with the regional tourism board, tourist guides will be trained more specifically on certain topics of the UNESCO Global Geopark Mëllerdall.

The European Diploma for Protected Areas has been awarded by the Council of Europe since 1965. Only regions and landscapes of European importance for the preservation of biological and geological diversity are awarded. These regions must meet clear criteria and define a nature and environmental protection plan. So far, 74 regions in 29 states have been selected. After the first five years, the work in the regions is reviewed again by experts; thereafter, the diploma must be renewed every 10 years. The experts formulate suggestions for improvement and the regions concerned submit an annual report on measures implemented and other changes. The European Diploma is a strong incentive for regions to engage in nature and environmental protection and provides an international platform for exchange/networking and inspiration.

On 26 October 1973, the Germano-Luxembourg Nature Park became the 13th region to receive the European Diploma for Protected Areas. The region was chosen for its innovative, cross-border orientation. Of European interest are the landscapes on both sides of the Sauer and Our rivers, which in the north comprise the plateaus and deep valleys of the Eifel and Ösling, and in the south parts of the plateaus and valleys of the Müllerthal region.

The European Diploma of the Germano-Luxembourg Nature Park was extended until 2028; this with the recommendation that Germany and Luxembourg should formulate joint medium- and long-term nature and environmental protection goals for the region. These have been drawn up by a working group since autumn 2020.

In 2015, the European Diploma for Protected Areas celebrated its 50th birthday.

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